Welcome to the Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum Columbus, Indiana

 

In Memory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum Volunteer Staff

Click on photographs for full size viewing

John Walter

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Photographs of John Walter during WWII, in England, with his B17 crew and a current day photo in the museum under a one eight scale model B-17 painted in his plane markings.

John C. Walter enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in the United States Army Air Force in August 1942. He was awarded Pilot's Wings and commissioned a  2nd Lt. on January 7, 1944. John completed B-17 pilot training, was assigned a crew and flew to England in August 1944. John and his crew joined the 8th Air Force, 95th Bomb Group. He flew thirty five combat missions over Germany. Some of his awards and decorations include The Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with Silver Cluster. He resigned from the Air Force Reserve with the rank of Captain in 1953.

When John was released from active service in 1945, he returned to college and graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering. He joined the Cummins Engine Company in Columbus, Indiana July 1949. He held a number of different positions in engineering, manufacturing and international. He retired in 1983. He provided consulting services to Cummins for several years. One of the consulting assignments was to direct the execution of the "Exploded Engine" sculpture in the Cummins Corporate Office Building.

His duties at the museum include visitor guide, providing technical assistance to the museum regarding such projects as the design of the chapel restoration, museum display cases and panels, suspension of the aircraft models and the CG-4A Glider restoration project.

 

Tom Vickers

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Photographs of Tom Vickers in Korea during 1953-1954 and recent photographs of Tom at community events.

Tom H. Vickers was born March 15, 1932 in Wheeling, West Virginia and grew up in Martins Ferry, Ohio. Tom served in the United States Army with 13 months duty in Korea during the Korean War and served with the 46th EUD. He graduated from Ohio State University in 1958 joining Cummins Engine Company that year. He retired from Cummins as a Vice President in 1988. Tom married June Ann Michael in 1956 and they have three children and ten grandchildren. He is a former Aviation Commissioner and member of numerous service and fraternal organizations.

His duties at the museum include special projects, tours, overall museum operations and planning of museum events.

Gordon Lake, First Sergeant US Army (Ret.)

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Photographs of Gordon Lake in barracks #6748 at Fort Knox, Kentucky winter of 1962-1963 during basic training and the second photo taken in the 1970's. The third photo was taken at the Camp Grayling, Michigan artillery range in the late 1990's and in his Dress Blue uniform just before his October 1999 retirement from the military and a current day photograph.

Gordon C. Lake, First Sergeant AUS (Ret.) served 23 October 1962 to 25 October 1968 and again from 28 September 1975 to 30 October 1999 with over 30 years service. During his last 15 years of duty, he was the First Sergeant of Headquarters Battery 2-150 Field Artillery, Indiana Army National Guard with his total career served as a Field Artilleryman. Some of his awards include the Army Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Gold Hourglass Device, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, NCO Professional Development Ribbon with Numeral 3 Device, Army Service Ribbon, Indiana Commendation Medal, Indiana Long Service Medal, Indiana Emergency Service Ribbon, Indiana Volunteer Emblem, Georgia Olympic Ribbon, Senior Noncommissioned Officers Academy Device and other devices and badges.

Gordon retired on March 31, 2008 from White River Broadcasting Company in Columbus, Indiana where he was a marketing consultant. He is a Ball State graduate and served as a faculty group member at the Indiana Non-Commissioned Officers Academy at Camp Atterbury. He holds a private pilots license and is a member of numerous military and veteran's organizations.

His duties at the museum include working with special museum events, visitor guide and helping maintain the museum web site.

Wendell Ross, CMDR USNR (Ret.)

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Photographs of Wendell Ross in 1957, later career, during a community event in 1995, and a current day photo.

Wendell R. Ross, Commander USNR (Ret.) was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy 9 June 1957 and graduated from the University of Louisville, Speed Scientific School with a Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineer. He reported for duty aboard the USS Bausell DD845 at San Diego, California on 15 June. He attended Destroyer Engineers Course for ten weeks, and was assigned the duty of Main Propulsion Assistant. Wendell served on board the Bausell for three years, as First Lieutenant, Gunnery Officer, and Chief Engineer. He also had collateral duties as Combat Intelligence Duty Officer, Officer of the Deck, in port and underway, and Command Duty Officer. He was released from active duty in June 1960. While on board the Bausell, it made two deployments to the Western Pacific, one for six and one half months and one for five and one half months. He became a member of the naval Reserve and retired in August 1977 as Commander USNR (Ret.) after 20 years and two months of military service. During that time he was attached to several surface units in Indianapolis and Louisville serving in various roles including Commanding Officer of three units. During the last years of service he served on the Staff of the Naval Reserve Command at Indianapolis.

Wendell joined Cummins Engine Company in June 1960 and served in various positions including Application Engineer, Order Administration Manager, Purchasing Manager during his twenty five year career. He retired in 1985 as a manager in the Industrial Application Engineering Department. Wendell was the Columbus Municipal Airport Director from September 1985 to September 1999. During that time he served as President of the Aviation Association of Indiana and as Director of the Great Lakes Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives.

As Airport Director, Wendell was involved in the creation and construction of the Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum. His duties at the museum include visitor guide, creating an inventory of artifacts and administrative duties.

Gustav Potthoff

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A photograph of Gustav Potthoff in Thailand, December 1945 after he gained his freedom from a Japanese POW camp, on the left side of photo leaning against a Centurion Tank taken in Holland with NATO in 1956 and a recent photo at the museum. The photo second from the right is Gus upon his return to Thailand and the place he was held POW. Gus was with a film crew that was producing a documentary about Gus and the POW's who were forced to work on the Hell Fire Pass and the Bridge over the River Kwai rail road. The photo on the right is of Gus receiving an Emmy for his documentary at the Honoring Veterans Banquet.

Gustav Potthoff was born in Indonesia, Indies and in 1941 enlisted in the Netherlands Army Tank Battalion in Bandoeng Java as a corps technical mechanic. After the war with Japan started, he became a Japanese prison of war. One of the POW camps where Gus was held captive was at the infamous Bridge at the River Kwai. Gus gained his freedom in 1945 when the war was over. In January 1946 Gus was recalled to active duty during the Indonesia Conflict. He remained in Indonesia until 1955 when he went to the Netherlands as a tank repair mechanic NCO until his retirement from the military in 1962. He then came to (in Gus' words) "United States of America of the Brave" where he went to work for Cummins in 1965 till his retirement in 1987. Gus wrote, "Now is the time, back to the war in my art painting again of the rising sun of Japan in canvas about the Burma-Thailand Railway." "For my friends, I promise to do something for who we leave behind in the jungle of Burma-Thailand." Some of Gus' painting are on display at the museum.

His duties at the museum include special projects, tour guide, and in general, listing the spirits of those who know him. During the weekly work sessions at the museum Gus is "standing by for orders."

Bob Kirk, MAJOR AUS (Ret.)

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Photograph of Bob Kirk during WWII, as the S1 of the 524th Field Artillery in 1949 and a current photo at the museum.

Robert E. Kirk entered service in Bloomington, Indiana July 1942 and was commissioned a 2nd Lt. at Fort Benning, Georgia April 1943. Bob started pilot training in the United States Army Air Corps November 1943 and was awarded pilot wings at Turner Field, Georgia August 1944. he attended B-24 transition training at Maxwell Field, Alabama and combat crew training at Mountain Home Idaho Air Base from November 1944 to March 1945. He trained on low altitude bombing by radar at Langley Field, Virginia until May 1945. He staged for overseas transfer to China but was transferred to Tarrant Air Field (later Carswell Air Base), Texas for B32 transition. He separated from active service December 1945. Bob transferred to the Army National Guard as an Army Aviator June 1947. He graduated from Field Artillery School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma March 1951. He retired as the S-3 of the 2nd Battalion 150th Field Artillery in August 1962.

Bob is a retired Vice President of Irwin Union Bank in Columbus, Indiana.

His duties at the museum include, tours, special projects and restoration.

Jim Porter

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Photographs of Jim Porter at basic training, later in his Air Force enlistment and a current day photo of him.

Jim Porter served in the United States Air Force from August 22, 1961 to May 15, 1965. he attained the rank of Airman Second Class. Jim was a reciprocating engine mechanic R4360 on KC97's. He cross trained to jet engines mostly J57's on KC135's. He served during the Berlin, Cuba and other crisis and during the Vietnam era. After he attended Tech school at Sheppard Air Force Base the remainder of his duty was spent in the Strategic Air Command at Schilling Air Force Base at Salina Kansas.

Jim was employed at Cummins Engine for forty-two and a half years and was a journeyman toolmaker for over thirty years retiring in January 1999.

His duties at the museum include participating in the CG4-A glider restoration project, helping maintaining the chapel and museum and as a museum visitor guide.

Charles Shrake, CMDR USNR (Ret.)

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Photographs of Charles D. Shrake during WWII, the Korean War, and a current photo.

Charles D. "Chuck" Shrake,  CMDR USN (Ret.) enlisted in the United States Navy in February, 1943 and was ordered to the V12 Officers Training Program at the University of Kansas. he was commissioned as Ensign in 1945 with orders to the aircraft carrier, USS Shangri-La (CV38) The Shangri-La was part of Task Force 38 with the mission of launching air strikes on Okinawa and the main island of Japan. After the formal surrender of Japan to the Allied Powers on the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo harbor the Shangri-La was assigned duties in Operation :Magic Carpet". This was to transport a strange assortment of battle hardware back to the US for mothballing and redistribution. Charles took part in operation "Crossroads" otherwise known as the Bikini A-Bomb Tests. After release from active duty, Charles finished college getting a degree in Electrical Engineering. He went to work for Caterpillar Tractor Co. and also joined a Ready Reserve Unit in Peoria, Illinois. He was recalled to active duty in February, 1951 for Korea service. Chuck served on the Staff of Commander Seventh Fleet on the battleships New Jersey, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Some of his awards and decorations include WWII Victory Medal, American Theatre Ribbon, Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Ribbon, Navy Occupation Ribbon, China Service Ribbon, United Nations Ribbon, Korean Service Ribbon with four Campaign Stars and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation. He retired from the Navy in February 1964 with 21 years of service.

Charles was an Electrical Engineer for Caterpillar working as an International Field Representative in the Far East and in Europe with twenty one years with the company. He retired from Cummins Inc. in 1985 where he had worked in Governmental Sales with seventeen years of service.

His duties at the museum include restoration work at the chapel and museum. He is a museum tour guide and assists with museum inventory.

Chaplain Richard Yeaton

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Photographs of Richard J. Yeaton at the United States Army Training Center, Armor, Fort Knox, Kentucky January 1958, a 1999 photo of Dick as an Indiana Guard Reserve Chaplain and a recent photo as the Columbus Indiana Fire Department Chaplain.

Richard J. Yeaton was born and raised in Lynn, Massachusetts. He graduated from Cincinnati Bible Seminary in 1955. He entered the United States Army in 1957 and served at Fort Knox, Kentucky in the G-2 (Military Intelligence) as an enlisted soldier. He was released from active duty in 1959 and served in the Army Reserve until 1960. He was a member of the Indiana Guard Reserve as Chaplain and holds the IGR rank of colonel. He retired as an IGR Command Staff Chaplain. Dick was ordained to the Christian Ministry in 1960. He served three congregations of the Christian churches in Columbus, Carmel and Edinburgh, Indiana over a span of forty-two years retiring in 1999. He is still active in interim ministry today. He served as volunteer chaplain with the Carmel, Columbus and Edinburgh Police Departments. He continues to serve as Chaplain to the Columbus and Edinburgh Fire Departments. Dick held positions of Director of the Bartholomew-Brown County Chapter American Red Cross. Also, was the Indiana State Service Council American Red Cross director and chairman.

His duties at the museum and chapel include special events and he is called upon frequently to conduct special services at the chapel and for community events. Dick's dedication to the veterans of the community is unlimited.

James Alvis

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Photographs of James R. Alvis at Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio, signaling start up of an AC-119G Gunship in Vietnam, looking out the cockpit window of the C-119G he crewed at Phan Rang, Vietnam and a current day photo in a 71st SOS sweatshirt.

During 1963-64, things were heating up in Vietnam and Jim was facing the possibility of being drafted. Not wanting to be drafted, he visited the 434th Troop Carrier Wing at Bakalar Air Force Base several times in 1963 and 1964, and put his name on the enlistment waiting list. He received a call in October 1964 and took the oath on 1 Dec 1964.  When he signed up, he had a choice between two openings, and selected Reciprocating Engine Aircraft Mechanic training.

On 11 April 1968, Indiana radio stations announced that a unit of the 434th Tactical Airlift Wing at Bakalar Air Force Base had been activated by the Department of Defense. The 930th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and the 71st Tactical Airlift Squadron had indeed been activated to perform a special mission for the Air Force. Eighty three officers and 254 airmen reported for active duty on 13 May 1968.

The unit transferred from Bakalar AFB to Lockbourne AFB, Columbus, Ohio in June 1968 to begin the transition from C-119 cargo type aircraft to AC-119 gunships. In December 1968 the first gunships began the ferry missions from Lockbourne AFB to Nha Trang, Vietnam. Eighteen aircraft and 24 combat crews and support people were delivered to Vietnam by February 1969. The reservists of the 71st Special Operations Squadron (SOS) flew combat missions and trained regular Air Force personnel to continue operations. Having completed their mission, reservists of the 71st SOS returned to Bakalar AFB on 6 June 1969. Jim returned to Purdue University where he completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering Technology and began a career in the natural gas industry.

The 71st SOS has the distinction of being the only Air Force Reserve unit to have served a combat role in the Vietnam conflict. The unit received a Presidential Unit Citation Award, Outstanding Unit Award, and Service Recognition Certificate from the State of Indiana.

Jim's duties at the museum include special event support and museum research. He also is the webmaster for the 71st SOS web site.

Glenn Leonhart

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Photographs of Glenn Leonhart as part of the Korea, Army of Occupation during the late 1940's and a current photos at the museum

Glenn's service with the United States Army started September 11, 1946 with his basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Glenn served overseas in Korea as part of the Army of Occupation from December 25, 1946 to July 14, 1948. He was assigned to the 6th Division Engineers, 506th Utilities Detachment and obtained the rank of Tech Sergeant 5.

Glenn received a B.S. in Architecture in 1953 from Oklahoma State University and had two years of graduate study at the Institute of Design at Illinois Institute of Technology. He had thirty eight years as a consulting designer of institutional and wood office furniture to companies in Chicago, Grand Rapids, Michigan and Jasper, Indiana.

Glenn's design skills are put to good use at the museum and he is an invaluable source for gallery display design. He also hosts museum visitors and works on special projects.

Charles Abbott

Charles helped with the completion of the museum's one of a kind large scale model aircraft displays. Charles worked with Joe and Glenn Grube using his painting skills on the model aircraft.

 

Robert J. Goedl

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Photographs of Robert J. Goedl at Tachikawa Air Base Japan 1968, Takahli Royal Thailand Air Force Base, Thailand 1970 and current photos at the museum and Honoring Veterans Banquet.

Robert J. Goedl was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH. Upon graduating high school in 1957, Bob enlisted in the USAF January 1958. He attended Tech School at Chanute AFB IL. The Air Force training course he took was for Weather Equipment Repairman, to repair many electrical-mechanical-optical pieces of meteorological equipment and other similar type equipment. During Bob's twenty one year Air Force career, his duties included equipment repair, inspection, NCOIC base weather station, quality control at the intermediate level, overhaul and installation at Depot level. Some of his duty stations were Wright Patterson AFB, OH, Whiteman AFB, MO, Takhli AB Thailand, McClellain AFB CA, Patrick AFB, FL, Tachikawa AFB, Japan, and Columbus AFB, MS.

Bob retired from the USAF in 1978 and put his service training and experience to use by joining a hospital maintenance department. Ten years later, Bob enrolled in college, completing courses which enabled him to change careers and secure a position with a leading electric motor manufacturing company in the engineering department as a design draftsman. He retired in 2002. Along the way Bob married and raised eight children, two boys and six girls, sending them all to college. Currently he has thirteen grandchildren. His first wife passed in 1992. He remarried in 2003 and gained three more grown children and four more grandchildren.

Bob is active in retirement with traveling, and belongs to several civic and military organizations. He is especially proud to serve as president of Chapter 288, Atterbury Bakalar Chapter of the Air Force Association. His duties at the museum include special projects, visitor guide and museum support activities.

Rod Williamson

Photos of Rod Williamson taken during his service in the Air Force 1950-1954 and Rod today.

Rod Williamson enlisted in the Air Force shortly prior to the Korean Conflict and completed a year of training in radar maintenance. He served in the Air Defense Command in Washington State and in the Japanese Air Defense Command Furamaki, Japan. He was discharged in 1954 at Fairchild Air Force Base Spokane, Washington.

Rod was born in Brown County, Indiana and graduated from Christiansburg High School which is no longer in existence. He graduated from Purdue University in 1959 with a degree in mechanical engineering. From 1959 to his retirement in 1999, Rod was employed by Cummins Engine. He served with Cummins in Columbus, Indiana, Seattle, Washington, San Francisco, California and Indianapolis, Indiana.

His duties at the museum include special projects, visitor guide and museum support activities.

Harry E. Thompson

Photos of Harry Thompson with the 82nd Airborne, 101st and a current photo at the museum

Harry Thompson went into the Army December 1958. He completed Jump School at Fort Bragg in 1959 and served with the 82nd Airborne until transferred to the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell. He served with the 502nd Airborne Infantry until discharge from active duty as a PFC. Harry then joined the Air Force Reserve in 1961 and became part of and experimental Combat Control Team with the 16th Aerial Port Squadron at Bakalar Air Force Base Columbus, Indiana. Harry attended Jumpmaster School in 1963. He was again called to active duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis. His rank at that time was Airman First Class. He was then recruited to be a part of a new Airborne National Guard unit in Greenfield, Indiana. They needed another Jumpmaster on the rolls to get it started. While serving with the 151st Company D, Airborne Rangers, Indiana Army National Guard he injured his knee for a second time and that ended his military and jumping career.

Harry married Karen Elaine Goken in 1961 and their daughter Kari was born in March of 1963.  Harry has two granddaughters Meagan and Kathryn. Harry is retired from Western Electric with thirty years of service.

Harry's duties at the museum include special projects, visitor guide and museum support activities.

James S. Peters, Sr. M/Sgt USAF (Ret.)

Photograph of in 1943 at Basic Training Ft. McClellan, Alabama, 1944 after graduation from Gunnery School and current day at the museum

James Peters was drafted into the US Army February 1943 and went to Infantry Basic and then selected for ASTP Program and transferred to the USAAF. He took mechanic training at Amarillo, Texas, Flexible Gunnery Training at Kingman, Arizona then to Combat Crew Training at Sioux City, Iowa. He helped ferry a new B-17G via the northern route to Wales, North Africa and Italy. He was assigned to the 99th Bomb Group 348th Bomb Squadron and flew 27 missions before VE Day. James returned to the United States by B-24 via the southern route, North Africa, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Camp Atterbury for a 30 day leave. He returned to Camp Atterbury for reassignment to a P-51 Fighter Training Group Tampa, Florida and Alexandria, Louisiana until VJ Day. He was discharged in October 1945. He re-enlisted January 1948 for a two year tour in Alaska reassigned to the 92nd Bomb Group, Fairchild AFB as B-29 ground crew member with 4 month TDY in Japan for the start of the Korean Conflict. He returned for conversion to B-36 aircraft January 1953 then reassigned to the 99SRW for RB/GRB-36 Aircraft Maintenance. He was then assigned to Westover AFB in Massachusetts for B-52 Aircraft Maintenance. He returned to Fairchild AFB in 1963 and retired in 1965. Some of his awards and decorations include Aerial Gunner Wings, Air Medal with two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal (Army) with Five Bronze Loops, American Campaign Ribbon, Euro-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Ribbon with one Silver Service Star Device, World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Service Star Devices, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon and United Nations Service Medal.

Jim was born in Columbus, Ohio. He was married in 1946. Jim worked for Boeing as an inspector of parts for 707, 727 and 737 airliners. He also was in cost estimating and production control with Boeing. He then moved to Phoenix, Arizona and retired from Republic Airlines in 1981. Jim moved to Columbus in 2003 to be close to his youngest son after Jim's wife passed away. Jim holds FAA A&P License and a Private Pilots License.

Jim's duties at the museum include, special projects, research and museum guide.

Floyd K. Crouse

Photographs of Floyd Crouse in the early 1950's and a current day photo at the museum.

Floyd Crouse was born August 10, 1931 in a country home near Rossville, Indiana. He grew up in Monticello, Indiana, graduating from Roosevelt High School there in May, 1949. His summers were spent at Indiana Beach, where he was the hat check boy in the ballroom where the big bands played, this influencing his choices in music throughout his life. In early 1951, he was turned down for National Guard duty because of vision problems, however, a high school classmate said, “Let’s go join the Army.” Repeating what the enlistee in front of him said at the eye check station March 30th, 1951, he got to the heart check station, only to be told, “You’re running a little fast. Sit up on the table and slow down and I’ll check you  again.”

Four months of basic training took place at the Hawaiian Infantry Training Center, Schofield Barracks, Oahu. Labor Day, 1951 found Crouse at Headquarters & Service Co., 185th Engineer Combat Bn., a few miles North of the 38th parallel in central Korea, where he remained for 9 months, leaving there as Battalion Supply Sergeant and rank of Staff Sergeant. After home leave, assignment to a laundry room in the 13th Armored Engineer Bn. at Fort Hood, Texas cramped Crouse’s style somewhat; a notice on the bulletin board that those with 18 or more months of remaining service could sign up for European duty caught his eye.

Arriving at Headquarters & Headquarters Co., 311th Engineer Construction Gp., Kaiserslautern, Germany, in the Fall of 1952, he remained there for 17 months as Assistant Group Supply NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) and was given a 5th stripe (Sgt. First Class), this less than 24 months after enlistment. In the interim, being appointed Group CBR (Chemical, Biological & Radiological) NCO didn’t up the pay but it had some welcome perks, such as not receiving an officer’s grilling when he said he needed to look in on a group outfit in another city.

Honorable Discharge came on March 6, 1954. For a young man who had 2 medical issues which would have kept him out of military service, the other being a broken left lower leg which healed improperly – unknown at the time, this veteran considers himself fortunate and grateful for the opportunity to have served. Having been on 7 ships and  in 7 foreign countries, earning 5 stripes, using the GI Bill and earning a BS Degree in Business at IU, Bloomington, Indiana, he never forgets that saying “DEFPOTEC” at the eye chart (20-20 line) because the guy in front of him did, and passed, was a life-changing moment for him – and for the better.

At the 50th anniversary reunion of the Roosevelt HS Class of 1949, Crouse called his classmate to the microphone, by serial number (3 behind his) to thank him, with some emotion, for his suggestion nearly 50 years earlier.

In years of working for a not-for-profit organization, he has planned and directed nearly 50 programs of many sorts, from a predatory mortgage lending seminar to Alzheimer’s caregiver training (2 days), health conferences and health fairs as well as a case management seminar. Crouse is now very active as an advocate for older adults and veterans, holding 7 positions in 5 veteran groups and serving on boards and committees for the betterment of the lives of seniors. Plans to slow down do not exist.

His children, Nancy, Jeffrey (a 5-year SeaBee veteran) and Jon, are the focus of his love and caring, their mother having passed away in 1993. His best days are when he has called or been with all 3 of them. Three grandchildren,  a son-in-law and a daughter-in-law, add to the joy. Being fascinated by airplanes for nearly all of his life, he thoroughly enjoys being with those at the museum who keep alive the history of planes and people when the base was active – from WWII through Vietnam.

Floyd's duties at the museum include, special projects and museum support activities.

Bill Andrews

Photographs of Bill Andrews in the Navy 1944, standing with museum volunteer Jim Sellars in 1944 and current day photos.

Bill Andrews was born on July 13, 1926 in Shelby County Indiana about ten miles North-East of the current day location of the Air Museum. He graduated from Clifford, Indiana High School in April 1943, during which time he worked on a farm what is now Columbus Municipal Air Port, the site of the former air base. Bill immediately began work at Cummins Engine Company and applied for appointment into the Navy V-5 program for Naval Aviation Pilot Training. He was accepted and sworn in at St. Louis, MO in March 1944 at age 17. Bill served in the USNR until mid 1945 mostly in training with V-12 at DePauw University, Illinois Normal, Wabash College and US Naval Hospital at Great Lakes where he was Discharged.

After discharge, Bill returned to Cummins and entered Franklin College where he graduated in 1949 with BA in Business (Pre law). As the Korean War was escalating, and with less that two years active duty in the Navy, he went to Atterbury Air Base, applied for, past tests, and was sworn in as a 2nd Lt. in the Air Force Reserve in which he served for eight years. While employed by Cummins in Denver and Chicago, he served with the 10th AF as part of the Dew Line. Bill was discharged in Denver as a 1st Lt. in October 1958. Bill married Joyce Essex on December 24, 1955. They have three daughters and thirteen grandchildren.

Bill retired from Cummins Engine Company in 1983 and did consulting work for them and their customers, which included being trustee of the Maintenance Conference at the University of Washington for four years. He was employed by Ivy Tech as Director of Industrial Training for two years and established a diesel training program. Bill was past president of the Columbus Morning Kiwanis Club, Past Master Camon Masonic Lodge, Past State President of High Twelve International, Past Eminent Commander of Columbus Indiana Commandery and active in many other organizations.

Bill's duties at the museum include, special projects, museum guide and museum support activities.

James Sellars

    

Photographs of James Sellers, Jr. in the U.S. Air Force during the 1950's and current day photos.

Jim, a native of Columbus, Indiana joined the US Air Force Reserve along with six of his high school friends on April 1, 1954 at Atterbury Air Force Base Columbus, Indiana. He was trained to be a radio operator on the C-46 aircraft before going into the regular Air Force. He served in the USAF for six years with 12 months duty in Korea. After his tour in the Air Force he attended The Art Institute of Chicago, where he received a BFA, in Industrial Design.

Jim has been associated with many companies before forming his own design group, Sellarsdesign, in the Dallas, Texas area. He was a visiting professor for two years in the design department at North Texas University, where he taught design and furniture design. He holds eight U.S. Patents and has won design awards for this work. Jim was a member of the Industrial Design Society of America, serving as Texas chapter chairman and on the National Board of Directors.

He belongs to St. Johns Lodge No. 20 F.&A.M., Air Force Association, Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum and is on the board of directors. Jim's duties at the museum include, special projects, museum guide, inventory and acquisition committee, exhibit design and museum support activities.

Willis Bahnsen

Willis' duties at the museum include, special projects, museum guide and museum support activities.

F.O. "Pete" Jenkins

F. O. "Pete" Jenkins at the museum and in a 1957 photograph next to a Jeep mounted 106MM recoilless rifle at Fort Ord, California.

Pete Jenkins was born and raised in Paris, Illinois. After graduating from public high school in 1955, he entered service on the six month active duty program with the Illinois Army National Guard, 106th Battalion, Company H, Infantry Heavy Weapons. Basic training was done at Fort Leonard Wood Missouri or as Pete refers to it "Fort Lost-in-the-Woods Misery" in the fall of 1956. The remaining four months training were at Fort Ord, California with bivouac at Hunter-Liggett Military Reservation training on various mortars, bazookas and recoilless rifles. Pete was discharged from the Illinois National Guard after the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Pete worked 44 years in Information Technology as a computer operator, programmer, systems analyst and project leader for seven different companies. His longest tenure was with Cummins Engine Company with seventeen years service.

His duties at the museum include docent, "open house cook" volunteers breakfasts and general museum project support.

Roy T. Eldridge

Photographs of Roy T. Eldridge during his Army days and a current photograph.

Roy Eldridge was born and raised in Seymour, Indiana. After graduating from High School, he went to business college while working for Western Union, Then Roy moved to Crawfordsville and attended Wabash College, communications school. Again Roy moved to Lafayette as a telegraph operator and office and attended Purdue University.

Roy was drafted into the U. S. Army in 1950 and sent to Camp Breckenridge, Kentucky 101st Airborne Division for basic training and to Fort Campbell, Kentucky for jump school training. He served a tour of duty in Korea during the Korean War.

After his military duty he went to work for Arvin Industries as a material controller. Other career moves were to Western Southern Insurance Company as a District Manager in Southern Indiana and then to Cummins Engine Company as a tool engineering journeyman toolmaker. Roy is now retired.

Roy's duties at the museum include, special projects, museum guide and museum support activities.

Ron Arnold

Ron Arnold

Ron's duties at the museum include, special projects, museum guide and museum support activities.

 

Don Lott

Don Lott

Don's duties at the museum include, special projects, museum guide and museum support activities.

Gerald H. Clayton

Gerald H. Clayton in his 1951 Air Force photo, currently at the museum, and in his Glastar airplane.

Gerald joined the Air Force January 3, 1951.After basic training and six month radio mechanic school at Scott AFB hew was assigned to the 22nd A&E Shop at March AFB. The 22nd Bomb Wing was part of the SAC 8th Air Force. For his help at the site of a B-29 crash at March AFB, he received a letter of commendation from the base commander. While at Scott AFB, in his free time, Gerald took flying lessons at nearby Highland Winet Airport at Highland, IL, and soloed after eight and a half hours in a J-3 Cub. Before his discharge in December 1954, he achieved the rank of Airman Fist Class.

Gerald is married and has five children. In 1965 he finally earned a private pilot certificate. In 2006, after nine years of building, he completed a Glastar kit airplane which is hangared at Columbus, Indiana Municipal Airport.

Gerald's duties at the museum include, special projects, museum guide and museum support activities.

Linda Cavanaugh

Linda Cavanaugh at the museum and in a helicopter taking flying lessons.

Linda has been fascinated with airplanes since a child, helping her dad Ercell J. Serven, a pilot and an airplane mechanic build experimental airplanes. Her husband, Marvin who is deceased, was an Air Force Veteran.

Linda's college education includes a bachelor's degree from Western Illinois University, a master's from Northeastern Illinois State University, an Ed. S degree in administration and a Ph D. in Student Services from Barry university. She is a retired middle school guidance counselor from Florida. She has taught many years and has been a K-8 principal.

She has a daughter Rachel, who is a RN at Methodist Hospital and a son Ramiah who owns a roofing company in Baton Rouge, La. Linda has six grand children. She took flight and helicopter lessons in Florida. She served nine years as a member of the Lake Sumter Community College Board of Trustees.

Linda's duties at the museum include, special projects, museum guide and museum support activities

"EVERY GENERATION HAS ITS HEROES"

 

 

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January 16, 2012